On August 1, 2002, a five-year citywide hotel workers contract expired. After a standoff between UNITE HERE Local 1 and the city's hotel owners, the union won a new citywide contract with improved wages and benefits (see entry on Pioneer Court). In the 1990s, the owners of the Congress Hotel had pulled out of the multi-employer association, so when the Congress Hotel workers' contract expired on December 31, 2002, they needed to fight for their own contract. In May 2003, the Congress Hotel submitted its final contract offer, which included severe wage and benefits cuts. In response, on June 15, 2003, the workers at the Congress Hotel went out on strike. As of May 26, 2006, the Congress Hotel workers continue to walk the picket line against the unyielding owners. The Congress Hotel picket line is a critical front in a larger struggle for the labor rights of service workers in Chicago's massive hotel and tourism business. The attached photo (taken by Garth Liebhafer) shows workers on the picket line. For the latest on the Congress Hotel strike, click on the title above to link to UNITE HERE Local 1's strike information website.